The conviction rate for domestic violence against women has reached an all-time high, a new report has revealed.
The seventh annual Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Crime Report from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reported that 74.6 per cent of those prosecuted on domestic violence charges were convicted in the last year.
This percentage represents 58,276 defendants convicted.
The conviction rate for violence against women and girls in general also hit a record high of 74.4 per cent over the last year. There was also an 11 per cent increase in the number of defendants charged from the previous year, with over 8,000 more cases being brought before the courts and over 6,500 more convictions.
The last year also saw the highest ever conviction rate for sexual offences, not including rape, with a 13 per cent rise.
Referrals to the police on matters of forced marriage and so-called ‘honour’ based violence also rose, and both saw a record number of those cases leading to someone being charged.
Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said she hoped victims of these crimes to take some confidence from these numbers and that those commit them “will take note”.
She also said nine out of every ten domestic violence convictions come from guilty pleas, sparing the victims from having to testify in court.
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of national domestic violence prevention charity Women’s Aid, welcomed the news, saying it is vital for women experiencing violence to feel confident they will be taken seriously.
“[T]his increase in the conviction rate sends a strong message that the CPS is committed to ensuring victims get justice. It also signals to perpetrators that their behaviour is unacceptable and they will be held accountable.”
Domestic violence is not exclusively a problem for women. A recent study from the University of Cumbria suggested women were more likely to be aggressive in relationships than men. The study cited insults, shouting, and physical violence reported by male respondents.
Data from the Home Office in 2010 also suggested that 40 per cent of domestic violence victims are men.